Tag Archives: Local Search

Increasing Brand Value with Alternative Review Signals

As a plumber, you probably already know the value of word of mouth recommendations for your business. People are more likely to use your services if they are referred to you by a trusted friend or family member. And in the digital age, word of mouth referrals translate to online reviews – particularly Google reviews.

Google reviews represent one of the most powerful tools for consumers today. They can look up any business in existence and if it has a Google My Business account, they will see reviews and star ratings from people who have used the services of that business. In fact, Google reviews and online reviews in general, are so powerful that it is estimated that 91% of consumers trust online reviews from Google and other sources like they do word of mouth referrals. 

 

Diversifying from Google

Many plumbers have found Google reviews to be an invaluable tool for their business. But it’s important to realize that there are other fish in the sea. During this time of pandemic it is crucial to know and familiarize yourself with alternative review sources. 

Facebook Business Reviews

Facebook is another very powerful marketing tool that is still up and running. As a plumber, trust is everything to your business, which is why Facebook business reviews is one of the best alternatives to Google reviews. The great thing about Facebook business reviews is that people can see when their friends and family patronize and review your business. If the experience was good, you will have the eyes of your existing customers’ friends and family on your business. 

And Facebook is far and away the most popular social media platform. There are 2.2 million Facebook accounts active every month. That gives you a massive pool of potential clients to draw from. Be sure you have a Facebook business account and start reaching out for Facebook reviews.

Better Business Bureau.

Have you ever looked on competitor sites and seen that little blue logo at the bottom, side or in the corner of their page? Many contractors have this logo because an ‘A’ rating or higher with the Better Business Bureau is a sign of trust. The Better Business Bureau was established in 1912! That’s over a century of service. Today, people know their name and know that they can turn to the Better Business Bureau site for valuable insight into the way a company operates and what kind of services they offer.

And yes, of course, millions of consumers browse the Better Business Bureau website every day to read reviews. The great thing about Better Business Bureau reviews is that they are prestigious. So many people still go to the BBB website because they trust that BB reviews cannot be manipulated. You can’t for instance, simply pay someone to go on the BBB website and leave a good review of your business. 

Yelp Reviews

The thing about Yelp reviews is that they tend to be emphatic one way or another. A lot of people use Yelp to really describe why they love or hate a business. Yelp encourages detailed reviews (as evidenced by the generous character count they give for each review) from their users and many users oblige. 

So when you offer consistently excellent plumbing service, you are going to want to encourage your customers to leave a review on Yelp – both now and in the future.

Leveraging Reviews in 2020

Knowing where to look for alternative review sources is great, but there is more you can be doing. You should treat reviews as a commodity, especially the way things are now. There are ways that you can leverage the reviews you are getting and turn them into more business as opposed to letting them stagnate. Take a look at the following list to see what we mean.

Respond to Reviews

If someone leaves a positive review of your business on Facebook, take that as an opportunity to interact with the customer. Respond to their comments with a thank you or tell them that you are happy you could help them. Turn a review into a dialogue to build a better rapport with customers.

Turn Reviews into Ads

If you get a wonderful review that highlights a specific aspect of your services in a positive light, don’t be afraid to showcase it on your site. A lot of times, customers will hit the nail on the head and mention things in their reviews that are directly in line with your business model. Be sure to make these kinds of reviews visible on your website and various business profiles.

Check-Ins 

Check-ins are a great way to let people know that you are still providing plumbing service and providing it in their particular area. We offer check-in tools here at Plumbing Webmasters but you can also check out Facebook Check-Ins for your business’s Facebook account.

Plumbing Webmasters

You may have noticed recently that Google reviews is not allowing reviews to go live. This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide shelter in place mandates. Google is trying to protect businesses by locking down their review feature, thereby making it impossible for someone to leave a bad review of your business simply because it was closed in adherence to the law. 

While this is necessary during this time, a lot of businesses are feeling the pain. So today we are going to be discussing alternative review sources that you can use right now in place of Google reviews. If at any time you would like to speak with one of the marketing professionals here at Plumbing Webmasters, please feel free to call us.

Additional Resources From Plumbing Webmasters

Related Podcasts and Articles
Google Reviews: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (Podcast)
How To Handle Negative Reviews (Podcast)
Chattanooga Water Heater Co Case Study (Case Study)

Related Services
Local Mapping for Plumbers
Exclusive Plumbing Leads
Google Reviews Management

Posted: | Updated: Apr 21, 2020 | Categories: Podcast

Sunset West Plumber & Rooter | True Client Stories

With hundreds of clients across the United States, our team at Plumbing Webmasters hears some pretty fantastic stories. Naturally, we’re thrilled to listen when our clients call back with the latest revenue milestone or ranking triumph. Every once in a while however, a plumbing company delivers a truly awe-inspiring testimony of success.

Those are the stories we love to share the most!

Today, Jason and Nolen share the story of Jimmy, a king among California plumbers. This hardworking professional now sits at the top of search results for dozens and dozens of high-volume keywords in his community. It’s not just any community either; it’s the Westside of Los Angeles. Be sure to listen in and see what ideas you can take away!

Learn Some Amazing SEO Tips for Plumbing!

  • While organic ranking takes time, local rankings can change quickly with the right tools!
  • Plumbers can rank high for hundreds of keywords, not just a couple dozen.
  • SEO grants opportunity for sustainable growth.
  • Organic SEO produces cheap, high quality results that would cost thousands in PPC ads.

A California Plumbing King

When it comes to SEO, success is often measured in keyword victories. It’s no mystery that ranking for the right plumbing key phrases can rapidly increase both leads and revenue potential. Four years ago, that goal seemed out of reach for Jimmy, a Los Angeles resident and plumbing professional.

Today, he sits atop of throne of hundreds of premium keywords! He is most certainly winning.

When Plumbing Webmasters founder Nolen Walker last spoke with Jimmy, the Californian enthusiastically shared that his business was adding a new truck and plumbing pro every year. New clients continue to pour in, while his existing client base thrives more than ever before. He’s living the dream and providing a reliable source of employment for local plumbers. Business only continues to grow.

Jimmy’s Journey Up the Ranks

So how did Jimmy go from fledgling plumber to enjoying map pack listings and page 1 organic results for hundreds of keywords? It all started with an enthusiastic marketing plan.

He needed a website. That much was obvious. But his website needed to overcome a substantial number of ranking competitors to earn real traffic and leads. That meant substantial search engine optimization (SEO) work from a seasoned team. So he turned to the Plumbing Webmasters for help.

Our Web Development & SEO Process

Service Pages

Organizing and Optimizing Service Pages

No matter what anyone says, Google isn’t omniscient. They don’t magically know everything there is to know about your services and operating community. Some well-meaning plumbing professionals believe that a simple bullet list of solutions on their homepage is enough to convey exactly what they do. That’s wrong.

Plumbers need to provide that information in the form of categorized service pages. Our team took Jimmy’s core list of services and constructed individual pages for every single one. Each service received tailored content describing the needs, circumstances, and benefits surrounding it. We poured in a swath of keywords, headers, original images, meta tags, and more. Our content writers delivered a healthy mix of short and long-tail keywords to enable both brand growth and immediate lead potential.

Citation Sources

Arranging Citation Sources

Jimmy would also require a reliable channel of reviews for his business. These are the lifeblood of SEO, accelerating growth (rankings, traffic, conversions, etc) across the board. Reviews sources, or citation sources, also provide verification of your services.

We got to work optimizing West Sunset Plumber & Rooter’s citations, including his Google My Business (GMB) listing. The GMB profile heavily influences local search performance, so it’s crucial to fully optimize the listing. We also ensured Jimmy’s other citation sources, such as his Facebook Business account, were aligned with the GMB information. Many plumbers don’t realize that even a slight difference between the profiles (such as an altered address abbreviation) can cause Google to doubt their legitimacy.

Geotagging Data

Geotagging: Check-ins & Reviews

We also embedded our Righteous Reviews reputation management software into the website. This enabled Jimmy to create check-ins whenever he left a job site, upload a short description and photo of the project, and tag it to the related service and city pages. The associated pages updated automatically to show the latest areas Jimmy provided service.

Google absolutely loves the geotagged data associated with these check-ins, seeing it as undeniable proof of activity!

The software also allows requests for reviews via text and email. Those texts and emails are also geotagged and uploaded to their respective pages for double the SEO power. Of course, this program only works when our clients faithfully use it. Jimmy is wholeheartedly embracing the technology for even stronger rankings!

Where is Jimmy Now?

Four years later, Jimmy’s plumbing business is still kicking butt all over the Westside of Los Angeles. While the hardworking team at Plumbing Webmasters certainly helped, it was Jimmy’s enthusiasm for faithfully marketing and embracing best SEO practices that have earned him such overwhelming results. He serves as a prime example for plumbers across the US what can happen when you invest in the right marketing solutions.

Want to learn more about West Sunset Plumber & Rooter’s journey to success? Talk with one of our seasoned SEO professionals today! We’d love to see your business earn the same outstanding results. Contact us for a free consultation at (877) 388-9884.

Additional Resources From Plumbing Webmasters

Related Articles and Podcasts
How to Rank Your Plumbing Company for “Plumber Near Me” (Article)
Brown Friday: Rockstar Plumber (Podcast)
The Coolest Review Software Ever (Podcast)

Helpful SEO Services
Local SEO Services
Exclusive Plumbing Leads
50 Keywords for Plumbing SEO

Posted: | Updated: Feb 27, 2020 | Categories: Podcast

True Client Stories: Trouble With Leads

Have you ever been on a kids roller coaster? As a child, the thrill of moving easily keeps us entertained. As an adult however, that thrill changes to irritation as we long to progress to loops, sudden drops, and rapid turns. A kids roller coaster simply goes nowhere, fast. 

When it comes to plumbing companies, lead sellers are the new kids roller coaster. There’s a real thrill of feeling your business gradually move with each incoming lead. As your company brand matures however, it becomes clear that you’re paying a frustrating sum of money to essentially spin in circles. Very little brand growth occurs, and you’re left none the richer from your investment.

Today, we’re going to talk about that frustrating ride. More importantly, we’re going to reveal how to get your business off the tracks and into some real long-term growth. Be sure to listen in as Jason and Nolen share real-life stories from plumbing companies.

Key Lead Generation Lessons & Plumbing SEO

  • Continually paying for leads slows down your brand development and customer base growth.
  • Even when you pay a seller for a lead, you may still have to compete with other local businesses.
  • Paid leads are simply way more expensive, both in the short and long term.

Buying Your Way Into Oblivion

Another day, another frustrated caller talking about expensive lead sellers. But what is it about buying leads that plumbers find so frustrating? At the Webmasters, we’ve heard all kinds of stories about people’s experiences with these services. Most boil down into a handful of common complains…

Top Problems With Buying Leads

  • They get really, really expensive!
  • When you pay for a lead, you still compete with other listed companies in your area.
  • Some “leads” are just people looking for quotes, not interested would-be clients.
  • It discourages SEO for plumbers, and other forms of lead generation.
  • Buying leads encourages return visits to your lead seller, not your company website.

The Eye-Opening Secret of Lead Sellers

Everyone wishes they could cut out the middleman and earn their leads at cost. After all, that would mean saving thousands (maybe tens of thousands) of dollars every year! It’s clearly possible; not everyone pays for lead sales. How do they do it? The real question you should be asking is: Where does your seller find their leads?

95 times out of 100, lead selling companies source their leads directly from Google Search! Not only do lead sellers pay next to nothing for each lead (even when you factor in long-term marketing), they add a massive upcharge to leads you could have earned for free.

Two Lead Sellers and an Organic Listing for a Local Plumber

This Local Plumber Managed to Outrank a National Lead Seller and Earn Their Own Leads.

How does that make you feel?

In the picture above, you can see one of the frequently-used tools of lead sellers for acquiring new customers. National level brands like to use localized “top plumber” lists to try to capture consumers. However, they actually have to work very hard to secure these listings, because Google prefers to list local businesses over national organizations. That’s why an independent contractor can earn a second place organic (free) in the same results page as two huge lead generation companies! 

Not only is it very possible compete with these household name lead sellers, Google will practically help you do it. If you’re tired of spending lots of money paying for leads, why not invest in making your own leads like this plumber?

How to Generate Leads

You’ll need two major tools to start generating your own leads: a Google My Business account and a company website. Some businesses try to get away with only one of the two; it just doesn’t work well. Now you might be thinking “Bah! I’ve heard about this SEO for plumbers stuff. It takes too long.” While plumbing SEO does take a couple months to start producing results, at least.

So what?

A Local Map Pack for Repiping Companies

Local Search Optimization Offers Faster Results After Google’s Local Search Algorithm Update.

Marketing always takes time to fully mature. If you have to spend a little money to earn a long-term source of cheap, high-quality leads, isn’t that worth your money? Anyway, there’s great news.

If you optimize your website and GMB well, you could start earning local listing traffic even sooner. In a recent podcast called “Brown Friday” (linked below), our team at Plumbing Webmasters got a tankless water heater specialist ranking for his top keyword in his community within a month. A brand new business (and website) knocked out long-term champions for top spot in a local map pack, which represents a huge portion of traffic.

Optimized Website Design

Your website will need to be fully optimized with dedicated service pages for the keywords you wish to rank for. This supports the local search results driven by your Google My Business account (which is absolutely free, by the way). Tools like Moz Keyword Explorer, Answer the Public, and SEMrush make it easy to discover hot keywords in your industry. You can also use Ubersuggest to see what terms your competitors are ranking for, and try to steal them!

If you’d like to learn more about using local search and organic listings to secure high quality leads, our team at Plumbing Webmasters would be happy to talk about it with you. Consult with one of our seasoned experts for free at (877) 388-9884!

Additional Resources From Plumbing Webmasters

Related Articles and Podcasts
Brown Friday: Rockstar Plumber (Podcast)
How to Rank Your Plumbing Company for “Plumber Near Me” (Article)
Forced to Brand (Podcast)
– All About Plumbing and Septic (Case Study)

Services Related to Lead Generation
Google Analytics for Plumbing Websites
PPC vs Organic SEO
Website Design Services

Posted: | Updated: Dec 23, 2019 | Categories: Podcast

How Plumbers Should React To The Google BERT Update

You may be wondering who BERT is and what he did to affect your business. The answer would simply be: Not much. BERT is the latest major update in a long line of releases from Google.

Algorithm updates generally pursue two objectives: enhancing the average user experience and drawing people deeper into Google services.

Major updates tend to send companies scrambling to find out how their business (and/or their clients) will be affected in the keyword rankings. While this year has certainly been an impactful one for millions of listings across the US, we aren’t seeing the dramatic change with this latest algorithm renovation. As Search Engine Land’s Barry Schwartz reassuringly tells us, “…many SEOs and many of the tracking tools did not notice massive changes in the Google search results while this algorithm rolled out in Search over the last week.”.

Google representative Danny Sullivan goes even farther with his Tweet on the subject:

Danny Sullivan on the Google BERT Update

Google Rep Danny Sullivan Underscores the Company’s Focus on Informative Content.

What Does the Google BERT Update Change?

Essentially, BERT enables better interpretation of long-tail conversational search phrases. It better analyses user intent behind longer search queries, and subsequently provides stronger listing matches. Long-tail searches take up a smaller percentage of search volume compared to the popular (and ultra-competitive) short keywords, yet Google believes this update will affect 1 in 10 searches across the nation. 

It’s clear that the Google BERT update has clear ramifications for businesses across the country, but what takeaways can your business pull from this release?

No Rush

Tip #1: Don’t Rush to Rewrite Your Content

Every time a new major algorithm change comes from Google, there’s an instant urge to burn everything to the ground and start over. Don’t put the torch to your content just yet, because the Google BERT update probably won’t impact your rankings very much (in the short term). If you’ve already taken the time to connect with your target market through informative content, you may notice higher rankings thanks to the update!

Take a little time to examine this last week’s Google Analytics results against numbers from previous weeks, just in case.

You should also read Google’s blog article on the subject, where they discuss in detail BERT’s effects on search query results. The update has been steadily rolled out over the last month in numerous languages. We also know from Danny Sullivan’s tweets that the Google BERT update has ramifications for both organic and local search results (such as featured snippets).

New Inspiration

Tip #2: Get Reinspired to Make Quality Content

Every new question to the Google team seems to come back with the same answer: Continue making excellent content for your users. There’s been such a heavy emphasis on keyword-optimization in the past, that many plumbing contractors forget the ultimate purpose for website material. Content is meant to provide helpful insights to guide behavior and solve problems. 

Does your content directly answer the key questions that searchers are asking?

If not, let the Google BERT update inspire you to make greater steps towards insightful content. Your materials may include video, original photos, infographics, podcasts, and a host of other engaging devices, but everything comes back to user value. The good news: you can draw people to your website with user-friendly content, and still create leads for your plumbing company.

Time Investment

Tip #3: Invest More Energy in Content Marketing

If you haven’t taken time to learn more about the latest SERP features, check out our guide on the subject. Featured snippets and local map packs are dominating local search results, and Google continues to place more emphasis on them. As we mentioned already, BERT impacts both organic traffic and snippets, which is traditionally won by content marketing materials.

To this day, it’s still a struggle trying to convince plumbing professionals why they should invest time in blogging and other practical forms of content marketing.

Not only does content marketing enable your website to rank for more keywords, it provides more opportunities for interacting with potential clients. By solving real world problems that a would-be client faces, you create that much respect for your business and recognition for your website. Plumbing companies that do really well can earn featured snippets, which offer tremendous traffic boosts (ie: potential leads) for their website. 

In Summary…

Don’t let this latest release from the search engine giant intimidate you. Watch out for digital marketing companies that might claim the Google BERT update comes with changes that only they know how to address. You shouldn’t feel any major effects in the near future, at least as far as your general website traffic goes.

However, there are some valuable lessons that we can learn from our buddy BERT. 

  • Google remains heavily invested in directing users towards great content.
  • Even long-tail queries have significant impact in search.
  • Google has a vested interest in SERP features, such as snippets.
  • Content marketing will continue to play a key role in featured SERP results.
Testing Process Used for Google BERT Update

Google Continues to Test Out New Layouts for SERP Pages. Pay Close Attention to Search Results in Your Area!

If you haven’t been taking stock in long-tail keywords till now, it’s time to heavily consider infusing some into your content. While they may not have the volume that search volume that shorter plumbing phrases do, they’re valuable for their heavy user intent and higher conversion rates. As we’ve talked about before in previous blog posts, developing a diversified keyword strategy typically provides better traffic and growth for your business online.

Don’t miss out on traffic that you could be earning with content marketing either! Even one blog post a month could have significant value for your brand and for your local searchability. If you aren’t sure what sort of materials perform best, try seeing what sort of content your top ranking competitors are producing. You can also check out our page on perfect content for plumbing sites!

Need a Hand?

Our team at Plumbing Webmasters would love to help you grow your business online. With our custom web design, in-depth keyword strategy, and dedicated content development, plumber businesses like yours enjoy incredible rankings in local search! To learn more about our services or ask questions about the industry, call us at (877) 388-9884.

Posted: | Updated: Nov 4, 2019 | Categories: SEO